Ellen Hansa-Stanyer

“Clay for me has always been a very exiting median which to work with. At the age of 14 I saw the first pot being thrown. It was magic to see something so beautiful being created out of a lump of mud. It took 10 years before I was able to learn to do just that. Now almost 50 years on, I use clay to tell stories.”

At the age of 15 Ellen Hansa studied photography in Vienna beginning her passion for visual expression. Having finished her diploma she then worked in Norway. In 1964, she decided to have a small adventure and travelled to Australia to visit her brother. This adventure has endured to this day.

Settling in Melbourne, Ellen took up pottery as a hobby under the auspice of her new husband, Ray Stanyer. Soon he joined her and during a week-end visit to Maldon they decided to move out of Melbourne.

In 1970 Stanyers Pottery was born and for 25 years Ellen and Ray worked as production potters supplying many shops and galleries. They also held many exhibitions at their shop and gallery, the Scotch Pie House in Maldon.

Upon retirement in 1996, and the children having left home, the opportunity came to be more creative with her work.  She stated that “clay, to me, is the ideal story telling medium” and this is reflected in her ceramic sculptures. The versatility of her work reflects her strong belief that expression does not seek fame, but moreover, fun and inspirational release.

Ellen has exhibited widely in Australia as well as overseas. She is represented in Norway, Germany and Austria